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65 Hertford Street

History of 65 Hertford Street

1901:

Francis H Fromant, 32, post office clerk, b Cambridge

Gertrude, 27, b Cambridge

Leslie, 6, b Cambridge

Ethel L, 1, b Cambridge

At the end of 1900 there were reports casting suspicions on the honesty of F H Fromant at the post office, particularly with regard to short-changing customers. So an undercover post office worker Cartwright was used to test Froman’s honesty.

On 27th April, messenger Cartwright attached to the confidential enquiry branch asked Mr Fromant for a money order for £4.6.0 which cost £4.6.4. In payment he put down first two sovereigns and four half sovereigns, secondly another half sovereign, thirdly 6/6d in silver. Mr Fromant drew the single half sovereign towards him and dropped all the gold coins into his drawer before Cartwright had time to put down the silver. He then put the silver into his drawer and gave Cartwright 2d change and, though Cartwright loitered, did not call him back.

On 4th May, Cartwright’s wife took a money order for £3.17.9 to Mr Fromant to be paid. he put three sovereigns and a half sovereign in her hand. She put down the coins to open her purse. Then she said: “There is another 7/9d. he put down 7/9d. She picked up the 7/9d and put the coins in her purse, then she picked up the three sovereigns and put them in her purse. She thus left a half sovereign on the counter. Then she put her purse in her pocket. She oput her baby on the counter during the transaction. When she began to take up the baby she saw Mr Fromant stretch out his hand for the half sovereign. She walked slowly out and was not called back. On neither occasion did Mr Fromant make any report or shew any excess in his cash.

On 6th May, Mr Tutton of the confidential enquiry branch saw Mr Fromant. Fromant denied knowledge of any irregularities but because of the evidence of the investigation he was dismissed.

(FRomA Postal History of Cambridge, 1970, by D J Muggleton)

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